Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) under its “Oplan Kain Sigla Program” started another round of “Eat to Nourish Approach” feeding package targeting 520 pre-school children in the five provinces of the region.
“We have identified 100+ undernourished preschool children in each province with the objective of improving their nutritional status from underweight or severely underweight to normal in a span of 90 days,” Regional Eduardo C. Janairo stated.
“A full meal amounting to Php80.00/day, including AM snack, will be given for the selected preschoolers which belong to age 6-71 months and whose weight and height were recorded to be low for their age,” he added.
Among the participating municipalities are Socorro, Oriental Mindoro with 100 target beneficiaries; Abra De Ilog, Occidental Mindoro with 100 preschool children; Sta. Cruz, Marinduque with 100 children; Sta. Fe, Romblon with 100 participants; and Aborlan, Palawan with 120 children.
“These municipalities are noted to belong in the upper list of LGUs with high prevalence of undernutrition based on their 2017 OPT Plus (Operation Timbang plus Height),” Janairo explained.
According to Director Janairo, the 90-day feeding program (excluding Saturday and Sunday) aims to provide at least 30% -50% of the total caloric needs of the undernourished preschoolers which is between 1,000 and 1,400 calories per day.
The 8th National Nutrition Survey revealed that MIMAROPA has the highest underweight and wasting prevalence in the country.
The 2014 National Nutrition Council Operation Timbang also shown that 9.8% or 10 out of 100 preschoolers are underweight for their age.
Janairo said that a malnourished child has little energy for play and this minimizes his/her ability to acquire knowledge concepts and skills that promote brain development. “That is why we need to provide them foods that provide energy and nutrients which requires growth and nourishment and protection from diseases,”
“We will be assessing these children after the feeding project and if there are some who are found out to still be deficient, we will continue to feed them until they reach their normal body weight and height,” Janairo assured.